Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Inimitable Zebulon B. Vance

When Northern cavalry General Kilpatrick claimed to have captured Zeb Vance at the end of the war and proclaimed it in Pennsylvania and New York newspapers, Vance insisted on correcting the vainglorious General's memory, and then some.Bernhard Thuersam"Vance never quailed nor bowed to the knee to power. When he was down, when his enemies were in control and his future seemed darkest he wrote the following letter:To The Editor of the New York World:I see by the public prints that General Kilpatrick has decorated me with his disapprobation before the public of Pennsylvania. He informs them, substantially, that he tamed me by capturing me and riding me 200 miles on a bareback mule. I will do him the justice to say that he knew that was a lie when he uttered it. I surrendered to General Schofield at Greensboro, North Carolina on the 2nd day of May, 1865, who told me to go to my home and remain there, saying that if he got any orders to arrest me he would send for there for me.Accordingly I went home and there remained until I was arrested on the 13th of May by a detachment of 300 cavalry under Major Porter, of Harrisburg, from whom I received nothing but kindness and courtesy. I came in a buggy to Salisbury, where we took the cars. I saw no mule on the trip, yet I thought I saw an ass at the general's headquarters; this impression has since been confirmed.Respectfully yours,Z.B. Vance(Address of Honorable Locke Craig at the unveiling of the Zebulon Baird Vance Statue in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol, Government Printing Office, 1917)

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